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3 candidates express intent to caucus for District 5 vacancy on Bloomington city council



Bloomington, Indiana – To succeed Monroe County Democratic Party councilmember Shruti Rana, who recently declared she will resign from her post as the District 5 councilmember on February 7th, three candidates have declared their intention to run in the forthcoming caucus.

Three individuals, namely former Bloomington Fire Chief Jason Moore, activist Courtney Daily from the community, and previous city council candidate Jenny Stevens, have declared their intention to seek the role.

Moore, who submitted his resignation as the city’s fire chief in December 2023, sent a news statement announcing his caucus candidacy. Moore, who had been the fire chief of Bloomington since 2016, hinted that his resignation was due to problems inside the fire service.

“There is no easy way to say it, but the functions of government must carry on,” Moore said in an email sent to District 5 precinct chairs. “I am stepping up because I want to continue my service to the residents of the city that my family and I love. While this would change how I serve, compared to my previous role, it is important to know that my previous experience will make me more effective for our community.”

Daily declared that she will also be caucusing on Sunday. Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is a grassroots movement that Daily previously led the Indiana Chapter of. Daily stated in a news release that she will prioritize enhancing diversity and inclusion, enhancing government openness, and providing universal access to affordable housing and healthcare. Daily chairs the Monroe County Democratic Party’s District 5 precinct.

Stevens declared her intention to caucus when she entered the Democratic primary for District 5 in May 2023. Stevens, who has resided in Bloomington since 1995, claimed that throughout her 2023 council race, she gained greater insight into the issues facing the residents of District 5.

“I’m very enthusiastic about the potential to serve,” Stevens said. “Since I’ve walked in every neighborhood and precinct, I have some direct information from residents. Every neighborhood has different concerns.”

David Henry, the chair of the Monroe County Democratic Party, stated that the caucus has not yet been planned. Indiana Code stipulates that the precinct chairs for District 5 must convene within 30 days of the council vacancy to choose a candidate. Additionally, according to Indiana Code, Henry must give precinct chairs at least 10 days’ notice of the caucus.

This means that the Bloomington city council may briefly run with eight members, depending on when the chair schedules the caucus. According to Indiana Code, the Monroe County Democratic Party has until March 8, 30 days after Rana’s resignation on February 7, to host the caucus. The municipal council may convene in a vacancy-filled session during any one of the four regular sessions between February 7 and March 8.

The precinct chairs of the Monroe County Democratic Party will choose a candidate to take over as Monroe County treasurer this Saturday. If she is chosen as a candidate in the caucus, incumbent Monroe County Auditor Catherine Smith’s position would become vacant. To fill this position, the Monroe County Democratic Party would have to hold another caucus.

In an attempt to increase precinct chair attendance, Henry stated he is attempting to host numerous caucuses on the same day.

“Even if state code allows us to do it earlier, there is value in trying to make sure that our committee members’ time is not monopolized and that they can take several votes on one day rather than trying to do successive Saturdays and Sundays to gather everybody,” Henry said. “I would much rather have high attendance with multiple caucuses (in one day) than low attendance at one caucus.”

In addition, Henry stated that he is attempting to arrange a caucus to take Rana’s place as the vice chair of the Monroe County Democratic Party. He did, however, clarify that his primary emphasis is on setting the date for the auditor and District 5 representative caucuses.

“Those are offices of public trust, and while they’re all important, voters voted for the auditor and District 5 representative,” Henry said. “In my mind, getting those officials back into play and doing the work of government is probably a little more important than the vice chair race, which is a political office.”

Henry also mentioned that he is trying to set up a caucus to replace Rana as the vice chair of the Democratic Party of Monroe County. He did, however, make it clear that scheduling the auditor and District 5 representative caucuses is his priority.

“I think it’s really important that whoever is joining the council has had a chance to meet the public and answer public questions,” Henry said. “After all, being a city councilperson is very much about answering questions from public comment and being a good, responsive person to constituents. So, I don’t see any reason why someone seeking an office through a caucus should not have an opportunity to meet the public.”


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